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Get your Christmas Tree in Waterville Valley

November 29, 2018

Make it easy on yourself.  Drive right by those expensive Christmas tree sellers down south, and swing by Dreams & Visions gift shop in Waterville Valley’s Town Square.  You’ll find fresh, local Christmas trees for $45 and wreaths for $25.  Your purchase supports the Waterville Valley Elementary School PTA. 

christmas trees and wreaths for sale at dreams and visions, waterville valley

Christmas trees and wreaths available at Dreams & Visions (as modeled by owner Wendi Rathgeber)

If you prefer to find your Christmas tree the old-fashioned way – in the forest – the National Forest Service sells permits to cut-your-own on National Forest land. 

Permits cost just $5 (payable with cash or check only) and can be purchased up until Christmas eve at the White Mountain National Forest headquarters in Campton.  

“Keep in mind that a wild tree may not have the perfect appearance of a commercial tree. Be prepared to do some real searching,” the Forest Service noted in its official release. “Just remember, they look smaller in the woods than they are in your living room!”

There are some rules to cutting your own tree:

  • Trees are for personal use only and cannot be resold.
  • One Christmas tree can be cut per family.
  • Chainsaws are not permitted; only hand tools can be used. 
  • Make sure you are on National Forest land (Waterville Valley is surrounded by the National Forest!).
  • Do not cut trees in or near campgrounds, picnic areas, experimental forests, wilderness, timber sale areas, or within 100 feet of a state highway. When you purchase the permit ask if there are any known “off limit” areas.
  • Do not cut trees larger than 8 inches in diameter at chest height. Pack down limb piles low enough so they are no taller than 2 feet off the ground. Scatter limbs and wood at least 25 feet away from roads, streams, hiking trails and property boundaries.
  • Cut your tree so remaining stumps will be less than 10 inches in height.
  • Attach your tree tag after cutting and before transporting your tree.

For permits and office hours, visit

In this photo from Sunday Dec. 7, 2014, Briana Beaman, 8 at the time, and her mother Arpie try to pick out the family Christmas tree in the White Mountain National Forest in Waterville, N.H. The Beaman family uses the offer from the U.S. Forest Service to cut their own tree for $5 as a family outing. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

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